Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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NARG, v., n. Also nyarg, njarg (Jak.); freq. forms nyargie, nyargle; n(j)irg, njørg (Jak.). [n(j)ɑrg; n(j)ɪrg]

I. v. intr. To keep grumbling and finding fault, to be peevish, to argue snappishly, to nag, taunt (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Kcb.1 1900, nyargle; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Mry.1 1925, nyargie; Ork. 1929 Marw.; I.Sc., Cai. 1963). Ppl.adjs., vbl.n. nyargin, -an, fretful, fault-finding (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 119), nyargling, wrangling (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 367), nargit, vexed, chagrined, exasperated. Hence n(y)argie, jeering, scornful (Abd. 1825 Jam.), also used subst. = a grumbling, discontented person (Sh. 1963). Abd. 1824  G. Smith Douglas 12:
Ye've narget on now till ye've rais'd my birse.
Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 119:
The twa dee nocht bit nyarg wee ane anither.
Dmf. 1923  Scots Mag. (March) 432:
They're fair nargit he's joukit them that aften.
Sh. 1930  Manson's Almanac 190:
Shu nirgid on in Tammie's face, Until his hert wis sore.

II. n. 1. Continual grumbling, importuning, or fault-finding, peevish wrangling (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 119; Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1963); a grumbling, criticising, nagging person (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 367, nyargle; Jak.).

2. Fig. Hard, slow, laborious work, as in rowing; a strong, contrary wind at sea, causing turbulence and commotion, a dangerous or troublesome sea (Sh. 1903 E.D.D., nyarg, 1949 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 130, Sh. 1963). Sh. 1908  Jak. (1928):
We've had a regular n(j)irg at de ayre. A n(j)irg o' wadder. He is a njarg i' de sea. Der'r a njarg o' wind; he is blawin' a njarg byfram.

[A form of Nag, v.1, with epenthetic r for emphasis, cf. Dorb, n.1, v., Gorb, Jirble, Hirple, Hurb, lerb s.v Laib, etc. For the I.Sc. forms, cf. also Norw. dial., Faer. knarka, to creak, complain, Sw. dial. narg, clamour, grumbling, wrangling, narga, to gnaw, wrangle about trifles.]

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"Narg v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Apr 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/narg>

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